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image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin January 19, 2022 "Not Much Snow ... But Lots of Blow!"

"We didn’t get a lot of snow on Tuesday, but we did get a lot of wind, first from the southeast and then from the northwest. So, by now, the extra 1 to 2 inches that did come down could be laying almost anywhere.

Before the storm, a uniform 8 to 12 inches of hard packed snow, along with some deeper drifts covered most lakes in the Itasca Region. Except for lakes that have plowed roads on them, travel conditions favored snowmobiles and track machines. Or you could walk, particularly if you’re 28 years old and want to cut an hour off of your daily workout.

Anglers have complained about slush on some of the small lakes, but for the most part, it’s been minimal so far. On Monday, I and Susan snowmobiled to one of our favorite small lake perch fishing spots and did encounter 1 short slushy stretch, but the ice was mostly dry. There were some pickup truck tire tracks created by weekend anglers. They had obviously gotten on and off the ice, but judging by the deep ruts and donuts in the snow, it appeared that their trip was not a fun one.

Yesterday, I spent the morning kicking myself because I had decided not to go fishing on Winnie. The thing was that it was already snowing at 6:00 AM and the weather forecast called for strong winds. During the morning, conditions remained warm and calm, I thought I chickened out too easily. But by mid-afternoon, the predicted winds did arrive and resorts on the big lake began announcing road closures.

Today, they’ll be cleaning up their roads, but I wouldn’t expect to re-gain access until later this afternoon at the earliest. There’s no way to make an assessment from my office, so I’m going on a driving tour for a firsthand look at the region and I’ll provide an update late afternoon or early evening." fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism January 18, 2022

image of angler with huge walleye caught at Flag Island on Lake of the Woods "Ice fishing is in full swing on the south end of Lake of the Woods, fish are being caught and most anglers are happy. As previous reports state, there are lots of small fish to work through to find keepers along with slot fish (walleyes 19.5 to 28.0 inches that must be released) and that occasional trophy over 28 inches. Most ice fishing is taking place in 25 to 32 feet of water.

A combination of a jigging line and a deadstick. Jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head the most common for the jigging line and a plain colored hook, glow, orange or pink with a live minnow 3 to 6 inches off the bottom has been effective. Jumbo perch, eelpout, pike, tullibees, and once in a while a crappie or sturgeon in the mix.

With stained water, most walleye and sauger activity during daylight hours. Anglers in sleeper houses report occasional walleyes and certainly eelpout when the sun is down.

Using electronics to spot suspended fish and to work each individual fish is very helpful.

On the Rainy River, walleye fishing is best in the mornings and evenings. Gold, glow or gold combined with glow colors working well. A jig and minnow close to the bottom has been effective. Sturgeon anglers are still pulling in dinosaurs (sturgeon). Patience is key.

The snowmobile trail is groomed and staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point up to the Angle.

Up at the NW Angle, anglers are reporting some great walleye fishing this week. Resorts have fish houses in a variety of areas, everything from shallow structure taking advantage of the morning and evening bite to more daytime spots in deeper water both over structure and mud.

Gold, pink and bright glow green have been producing nice fish. Jigging close to the bottom with a second line using a live minnow working well.

Travel to the Angle. The NW Angle Guest Ice Road is open. Drive on the 37 mile ice road to the Angle without crossing the border. The snowmobile trails, LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air are also great ways to travel to the Angle and stay in MN.

Driving via land to and from the Angle through Canada is open. Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test less than 72 hours from when the test was taken. Rapid tests are available in Baudette and in Warroad. Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge January 18, 2022

"7 miles past Pine Island on Big Traverse is where our houses are situated. 32 to 33 feet of water is our current depth. We are at or above 2 feet of solid ice.

There are still many little ones, which we love to see. A reminder, that air bag when fish come up from these depths is not actually an air sack. It’s their stomach. Please slowly release these fish. They will swim away if you spend the time. The sooner they return to the depth they were pulled from the sooner the pressure on them equalizes. Do not poke their stomach, it will slowly kill them.

The best success this past week has been from the dead stick using a plain hook. Orange and glow are great colors. Another hot item is lighted lures. As long as the battery doesn’t contain mercury.

This week’s forecast starts in the mid-teens with a small chance of snow then drops down into the negative numbers overnight. Wind seems to be a consistent factor, with some days having gusts up to 30mph so bring your warm clothes." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge

image links to fishrapper home page January 14, 2022 — "Ice Fishing Suits Thjat Floating the Float-Able?"

image links to article answerting reader questions aboiut iced fishing suits Q) "On 1-14-22 Dave Heck wrote, “I have spent my entire life, from the age of 3 to 66 fishing open water but have never been ice fishing, until now.  My target will be panfish in some of our Iowa lakes and ponds.
In a story I read from your past you mentioned floating bibs and parka.  Can you tell me your opinion about what you think is the best and safest brand available?  Thanks Dave

A) Dave, the original article you mentioned was written in December 2011 and I was using an ice floatation suit made by Arctic Armor. The manufacture of that suit, to the best of my knowledge, was one of the pioneers in the ice-safety float suit market. There is a lot that I like about that suit, and the 2 others that I have ordered from them since that time. In fact, I still own and occasionally use all 3 of them, even though my original, pictured left, yellow and black Lindy special order shows a lot of wear these days.

The Arctic Armor brand lineup has really shrunk over the years, but they do still offer one model, The Arctic Armor™ Pro Suit. This is not the same model as the ones I have now, but their advertising for it is much like the tech specs that I remember from my original orders. If you want to check that one out, IDI Gear is their website.

image of Jeff Sundin wearing Striker Predator Ice Fishing Suit A few years back, I got a new ice suit from Stiker, photo right. This suit is incredibly well constructed and comfortable. Mine is the “Predator Model” and it is unbelievably warm, in fact, unless you plan on fishing up north, probably too heavy for the climate in Iowa. Striker has become a really big name in the ice fishing suit market, so you’ll easily find an array of models that offer features suitable to the variety of fishing conditions you are likely to encounter.

I have not had an opportunity to test the difference, and hopefully never will, but I should mention a difference between my Striker and Arctic Armor suits. Striker does not offer or claim that theirs is a full floatation suit. They market them instead as “flotation assist” ice suits. They are supposed to keep you afloat for a short time, ½ hour is what I’ve heard. For most of us, that should be plenty, but depending on how safe you want to be might influence a choice that favors a full floatation suit.

None of the suits I own are Coast Guard rated as fully approved floatation devices, so when I’m fishing in the boat, they are not recognized as legal alternatives to USCG approved life jackets. Until recently, I didn’t think that there were any offerings that do serve as USCG wearables, but researching info for this report, I stumbled into one that appears to be.

Mustang Survival offers the “MUSTANG CLASSIC FLOAT COAT - MC1506”  Their tech specs say, “US Coast Guard Approved Recreational Type III Based on the original Mustang Floater Coat, the Classic Flotation Coat is engineered to provide comfort, warmth, and durability.”

I’m not going to run out and buy one to replace the suit I already have. But there have been times when I would have loved it if my ice fishing suits were also USCG Certified for the boat. For me, there are enough days when the weather is cold enough that I’d appreciate one of these for the boat. So, if I didn’t already have some great ice suits, I would take a look at one of these as an option.

Because the price of the Mustang is comparable to the other ice suits on the market, you’ll have to ask yourself whether a “dual purpose” ice suit/float coat like this might come in handy for your unique situation.

So, while there are alternatives out there, this is what I personally know now about some of the gear available for ice fishing. I can assure you that the Striker Suits, what I use now and the most widely available, are an excellent choice in terms of both quality and comfort. For your climate, I would suggest looking at the Striker Trekker Model, but if you like it hot, they’ve got heavier ones too.

Maybe our readers have some additional advice and if they do, I’ll be sure to post updates s they become available." fish smiley image — Office Cell Call or Text 218-245-9858 or EMAIL AA ST

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin January 14, 2022 "Lake Mille Lacs Ice Updates"

image links to reports about ice fioshing and ice conditions from Lake Mille Lacs "Not long ago, I mentioned that I’d be opening a new page devoted to reports from Lake Mille Lacs. Progress on the project has been slow-and-steady but today, I feel like there’s enough information on it so that this is a reasonable time to open it up to the public.

To date, the collection of reports is not unique, if you have time, you can find it all yourself by scrolling through websites and “social” pages. To you, the benefit of using this page is saving time, we’ve already done the scrolling and trolling so you don’t have to; you can get all the reports in one place, at one time.

Now this is the part when I ask for your help. If you’ve enjoyed receiving these reports for free, then maybe you can return the favor. The new Mille Lacs Lake Page is wide open for page sponsors, so if you have a special connection to a resort, rental operator or fishing guide, please mention to them that there are a limited number of sponsor spots available and that they are incredibly affordable!" fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin January 13, 2022 "Lake Winnie Updates"

image of High Banks Resort plow truck opening up an ice fishing spot for weekend customers "Last year at about this time, there was a certain amount of “hand ringing” going on about the big crowds of anglers on Lake Winnie. While there are still a healthy number of ice shelters out there now, the scene up there this year is much more subdued.

Causing the diminished population of anglers on the ice is likely a combination of factors including tougher travel conditions, angler’s availability of free time and reports of “slower fishing action” on the big lake.

Snow cover, while not exactly the major issue, is deeper than it was last year, and fewer anglers are able to travel off-road. In most areas of the lake, 10 to 12 inches of snow is the norm, there are large stretches of broken, rough ice too and that dampens enthusiasm for exploration; at least it dampens mine.

Fewer folks are off work this year, and the availability of ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Fishing Update January 13, 2022

image links to fishrapper home page January 12, 2022 — "Is Lake Trout Fishing Really This Vague?"

image of Matt Mattson with hefty Lake Trout caught in Northern Minnesota Brandon Flaata wrote; Q) "Hi Jeff, Next week I will be going to Canada for an ice fishing trip. I know this is out of your area of reports, but I have been scouring the internet trying to research how to target lake trout. I have fished them and found success in the summer, but this will be my first time trying to target them through the ice.

Articles I have found online talk about using a plethora of various lures and fish anywhere in the water column from 6ft to 60ft. I haven't found much on jigging techniques to cover this array of depths other than keep jigging motions consistent and predictable. For somebody who hasn't fished for lake trout, what I have been able to research online has certainly left me with more questions than answers on even simply "where do I start?"

In your opinion, is lake trout fishing really this vague? It feels like there are more precise techniques a person can discover scouring the internet for almost any other freshwater fish (and there is also way more content!). I understand the main reason is likely there are limited lakes where lake trout are present, therefore they aren't targeted as much as other species.

Any thoughts you have or videos/articles that you have found that you feel helps educate a newbie on how to go after lake trout? I understand the world of the internet won't tell someone exactly what to use, how to use it, where to go, etc., but I was hoping to find some basic guidance so when I get to my destination I had some education to be able to look at a map and point out some areas that would likely be better to try and ensure I had a small variety of baits in my arsenal that should provide me a chance to catch one.

Thank you again for all your valuable insights on your website, and someday I hope to meet you in person to thank you for helping to guide me to become a better sportsman! And I will be sure to continue to share my experiences with you in case it provides you with new learnings, or to post on your site to help others.

A) Brandon, reading your question reminded me of how I felt the first few times I went Lake Trout fishing with friends of mine. Being a walleye fisherman, I expected that there was some magic formula that would unlock the secret of how to attract, trigger and catch Lake Trout consistently. Like you, I wondered why nobody ever mentioned the magic lure, that special jigging motion or how to find the spot-on-a-spot.

After a few fishing trips, I finally figured out why nobody ever seemed to have the Lake Trout system totally “dialed in.” Trout in general, Lake Trout specifically are just way more random than are some of the other species I’m accustomed to fishing for. As long as there’s food in the area, Lakers will not only roam in and out of the region horizontally, but they will also roam the territory vertically.

As a matter of fact, Lake Trout are among the few fish that can travel from deep water to shallow water without suffering the effects of barotrauma. They can comfortably chase baitfish both up and down in the water column freely, with little regard for how shallow or deep they are at any given time. This is where the 6 to 60 feet of water comes into play, anglers need to be prepared to cover it all.

The fish strike fast, hard, and most often, unexpectedly. Typically, I don’t even get to watch fish on my electronics, my screen goes from being blank one second, to having a mark roaring in the next. So, to my knowledge, there is no “finesse approach”, no way to tease reluctant fish, they are either moving and striking, or else they’re not.

Your comments about the plethora of lures you found during your research the internet, may be somewhat over-blown. Sometimes anglers simply love to share their “favorite” lures and sometimes, they are just trying to sell something. No matter, the basic assortment of lures mentioned in the recent article about Lake Trout fishing that featured advice from Andy Arola was very solid, I thought. A few jigging spoons, a handful of jigs in the 3/8 to ½ ounce range, some tubes and bucktails will definitely get you started.

One thing not mentioned in that article was the technique of “dead sticking” with frozen bait. Depending on the regulations and availability of frozen bait where you’ll be fishing, this presentation should be considered too. In short, it employs a simple sliding weight like a Lindy Rig and a large hook applied below the dorsal fin.

Personally, I thought that the December 2020 In-Fisherman article by Justin Brouillard offered a good array of information about Lake Trout and does contain a section that covers the dead sticking technique.

I can tell you for sure that if you review both of the articles mentioned here and you follow the few simple rules outlined, you will encounter and catch some Lakers on your trip. Good Luck! fish smiley image — Office Cell Call or Text 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism January 12, 2021

image of ice fisherman holding big walleye caught on lake of the woods at arneson's resort "Ice fishing is going strong on the south side of Lake of the Woods. As the season progresses, much of the ice fishing is pushing to deeper depths, anglers are now fishing 25 to 30 feet of water.

Daytime air temperatures from -20 to +20 from one day to the next is causing some havoc with the bite, but overall, anglers are still catching fish. The scenario is common, folks are sorting through numerous small fish in order to catch their "keepers", walleye and sauger smaller than 19-1/2 inches.

Anglers are also catching and releasing some walleye in the protected slot, fish between 19-1/2 and 28 inches in length. And there are some lucky anglers who have iced trophy walleyes, fish over 28 inches, one of which can be harvested if an angler chooses to keep a trophy for the wall. There are also a smattering of jumbo perch, pike, tullibee, crappies an occasional sturgeon and EELPOUT in the mix.

Lake of the Woods has a walleye/sauger combination limit of 6 fish. Up to 4 of them may be walleye and sauger can make up the rest. All walleye between 19-1/2 and 28 inches must be immeditely released. Only 1 walleye over 28.0 inches may be posessed by any angler at any time.

Jig one line, deadstick the second line. Gold, glow, pink, glow red, glow green and yellow effective colors this week. Using electronics is very helpful.

image of ice fisherman holding huge eelpout caught near the Rainy River while fishing at Lake of the Woods On the Rainy River, anglers are reporting walleyes primarily during morning and evening. Gold and glow with one jigging line and one deadstick working well.

Sturgeon are still being caught. Having patience is key to hook into one of these monsters. Small sturgeon and a few walleyes can be expected while waiting for the big bite.

With the current of the river, knowing where and where not to travel and working through resorts / outfitters who know ice conditions is key. The snowmobile trail is marked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point up to the Angle.

Anglers have experienced great walleye fishing up at the Northwest Angle this week. Reports that glow colors and bright colors such as chartreuse, yellow, pink and orange have been effective, much like the color preferences shown on south shore. Making noise with the jigging line combined with a bobber line working well.have been very good.

Lodging and fish houses are available at Northwest Angle resorts and travel to the angle via the "Northwest Angle Guest Ice Road" is scheduled to open this week. Customers with reservations in the angle can drive on the 30 mile ice road to the Angle without crossing the border. The snowmobile trails, LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air are also great ways to travel to the Angle while staying entirely in MN.

Driving via land to and from the Angle through Canada is open. Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test less than 72 hours from when the test was taken. Rapid tests are available in Baudette and in Warroad. Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

Image links to Lindy's Fish Ed TV Glow Spoon Walleye Fishing Videoimage links to Fish ED Video "Learn How To "Talk to the Walleyes" Fish Ed" New Video January 11, 2022

If you were to visit a foreign country, knowing a little bit about the language would come in handy. And when you think of it, knowing how to "speak their language" could also come in really handy on your next trip to the walleye hole.

Using an expressive ice fishing lure like the Wally Talker can help because it allows you to "speak the walleye's language" in more ways than one. A finesse bait, combined with an agressive bait, combined with an attracting bait, combined with a triggering bit. You get the idea, it's a lure that allows you to "talk" the walleyes right onto your hook.

Join Jon Thelen as he shares his knowledge about how to "talk to the Walleyes". View Video and Learn More >> Talk To The Walleye January 11, 2022

Lake Trout Ice Fishing Tips and Tricks January 11, 2022 — Comments from resorts, outfitters and guests.

image of Andy Arola holding big Lake Trout caught while ice fishing I used to fish for Lake Trout a lot more than I do these days. Not that I didn’t love it, I did, but since I became addicted to ice fishing for panfish, Laker’s sort of wound up on the back burner for me.

Lately though, not only readers, but some family members too, have been asking questions about how to get set up for ice fishing Lake Trout. Since it’s been a while for me, I decided that the best way to handle the questions by getting some tips from my friends who fish for Lake Trout a lot more than me. This way, I can do justice to their questions while I also use the project as a refresher course to help fill in gaps in my own knowledge.

I started by calling my friend Andy Arola (photo left), he’d just returned home from a successful ice fishing trip for Lakers. As it happens, he and his crew were fishing on Clearwater West, a lake that I’ve fished in the past too, it gave us some familiar experiences to compare.

Before we get into the “how-tos” of catching them, let me interject this; the obvious best way to catch Lake Trout is to ...” Read Article >> Lake Trout Ice Fishing Tips and Tricks January 11, 2022

image links to Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge January 11, 2021

"Five to six miles North of Pine Island in Big Traverse makes for a 30 minute ride to the houses. January 9th and it seems early to be out this far. Every year there is more of a push for being further North sooner and sooner.

The bite has had some ups and downs, which seem to coincide with the weather changes. This past week we have had some days of 30 degree changes, strong winds to none and abundant sunshine to falling snow. We are still catching fish with many little ones continuing to show themselves while Anglers hone their efforts with increased expectations of that big one to hit any moment.

Gold, glow red or yellow are great colors. Having two rods down provides Anglers the opportunity for simultaneously using multiple tactics, a plain hook on a dead stick while aggressively jigging a noise maker lure with the other is always best. Electronics are a proven game changer.

Weather is going to again be a roller coaster this week, with lows one day of -22 and a high of 22 the next, but looking like it will be staying above zero for the foreseeable future starting Tuesday. Hopefully that consistency in temperature translates into a more consistent bite." 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge

image reader comments Reader Comments January 8, 2022 "Lake of the Woods Field Update"

image of walleyes and sauger caught on the soutwest side of lake of the woods January 7, 2022"On January 7, 2022 I got this text message from Austin Jones; "A buddy of mine had a great day today on a day trip up to Lake of the Woods." Nate E, along with un-named fishing partner(s) drove their pickup truck out from the Springsteel Resort.

Springsteel's plowed roads are in good shape and ice thicknesses on Friday ranged between 17 and 18 inches. They stopped their pickup truck and set up a fishing shelter on the mud-flats in about 28 feet of water.

Nate E. wrote, "(we) Started the day with 5 smaller toss backs and pulled our first keeper walleye at 8:12 AM. From then on, the action stayed steady, with fish biting until about 1:30 PM when we put our last 16 inch fish in the bucket! Caught roughly 40 to 50 fish today!

Fish were very active for the Lindy Rattl'N Flyer Spoons! Pink (scarlet ice) and Gold were our best colors, we tipped them with a shiner. Fish were more active for the jig rod but were still catch fish on the dead stick! It was cold -26 degree morning, but a beautiful calm day on LOW!"

image links to fishrapper home page January 7, 2022 — "Any Hot Fishing Tips For Zippel Bay Ice Trip?"

Q) On 1-6-2022 Thomas Wood wrote; "Just a quick note to say thanks for your reports! SUPER helpful! Heading to Lake Of The Woods, out of Zippel Bay Resort this weekend for the first time ever! SO excited. I have never fished the big lake before! Got an tips? Thanks again, Thomas"

A) Good morning sir and thanks for the note. We have fished out of Zippel Bay many times and there are numerous articles and videos from up there. On my first run-through, I located these articles • Ice Fishing Lake of the Woods, Zippel BaySundin LOW Fishing Report January 11, 2021 >> Lake of the Woods Report December 17 2019Lake of the Woods + Upper Red Lake Report December 2018

Some of the videos we've produced up there include Fish ED Lake of the Woods, Sundin >> "Catch More LOW Walleyes In Stained Water" • Fish ED Lake of the Woods, Thelen, "Glow Spoons For Big Walleyes On Lake of the Woods" • Fish ED, Thelen Early Ice Giants, Lake of the Woods Walleye • Watch for more links as they're added. fish smiley image — Office Cell Call or Text 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to wired2fish Wired2Fish "5 Reasons Fluorocarbon is the Best Ice Fishing Line"

image links to video about ice fishing with flourocarbon fishing line"Professional fishing guide Brad Hawthorne explains why fluorocarbon is his favorite line for ice fishing panfish and even predator fish like walleyes.

Like any line selection, you need to match material properties to the environment you’re fishing. For Hawthorne, subfreezing temperatures dictate the use of a line that repels water (hydrophobic).

Fluorocarbon sheds water and lays straight through rod guides, even with tiny tungsten jigs — both essential characteristics in bite detection and freeze-up prevention. Lines that absorb water, such as monofilament and braid, suffer from coiling (aka memory-mono) and kinking with braid.

So what?" So, View Video and Learn More >> 5 Reasons Fluorocarbon is the Best Ice Fishing Line

image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin January 6, 2022 "The Plowed Road Season Is Upon Us"

"I’m getting really good at being an “old fart”! After I get off the computer, the typical morning these days is me putzing around in the garage, making sure my snowblower is in proper working condition. I guess that’s because Mother Nature has forced a new favorite pastime on me, snow removal. Yesterday, we had another 3 or 4 inches pile up in the yard, not a lot, but when you add it to what was already there, the snowbanks are becoming impressive.

On Tuesday, before the snow began, I was able to look at a few of the smaller lakes in the region. These are ones that I typically like to walk out on during the early season, before the big lakes have roads plowed and we begin fishing the “easy way”. There was already enough snow stacked up to make walking hard, and near shore, there were pockets of slush building up under the deeper drifts.

Knowing that rental operators and resorts have been developing roads everywhere it was easy to re-set my sights on fishing later in the week, when driving out on plowed roads would make life more convenient. That set into motion a new plan, figuring out where I thought might best to go with this weekend. The short, simple answer is that we can go almost anywhere we want.

From Mille Lacs to Lake of the Woods and everywhere between, operators on all the popular lakes are announcing that their road systems are either already open or will be open for business this weekend. One caveat, some of the resorts are open for seasonal rentals, but are not yet open for the public.  Some of them also have restricted weight limits aimed at protecting anglers with “big rigs” from over testing the ice in marginal areas.

My favorite way of expressing the limit was found in a report by Eddy Lyback, he referred to it as the “curb weight” of an angler’s rig. At Lyback’s, seasonal rentals only, with a combined total weight of 7000 pounds was listed as their target audience for this weekend. So, if your pickup truck is heavy, but your shelter is light, you might make your weight and be allowed on the roads. Likewise, if your shelter is a bit larger, but you can tow it out with something light, you might make that cut as well. Lyback; “Single axle wheelhouses (that have paid the seasonal rate) weighing under 4000lbs can go if pulled with Vehicle that weighs under 5500lbs with chains.”

I really liked the way Eddy has his reports kept up to date! In this age of “social media” many folks have pages set up and their intentions to communicate are good. The problem is that many of them fall behind, not managing to keep their pages updated often enough to be helpful. We all know that ice conditions can change daily, so, no matter what you see posted here or anywhere else, be sure to double check with the individual operator ahead of time. A quick phone call can save you from showing up at their doorstep and being turned away due to a late breaking development.

As you know, we try to help with that, providing updates from wherever we can get them. But there’s a lot of ground to cover and we’ll take all the help we can get; you are always invited to share tips and updates about ice accesses on your favorite lakes.

image of sunrise over lake mille lacsIn my home territory, Winnibigoshish is an obvious favorite, so The Lake Winnie Access Map has been the most useful for me. Today, there is one significant change in that Highbanks Resort will be officially open for their winter season as of 3:00 PM today January 6, 2022. Everything else on the map was updated on January 2nd, 2022, and from what we know today, remains unchanged.

As much as I love Winnie, Mille Lacs is on my radar screen this winter. You may recall, the Hippie Chick and I had a delightful time ice fishing down there a couple of seasons back with Dustin Monson, Chris Messerschmidt and Shane Boeshart. The company was great, the fishing was fun, and the photos turned out great.

We’ve always wanted an excuse to go back and do that some more and it looks like now we’ll have it. This week, David and Kate Ray, our eldest daughter and son-in-law, are closing on a new house on the north end of Mille Lacs. Naturally, they’ll want us to come visit and as long as we’re going anyway, we might as well bring along a fishing rod … and a snowmobile, and a fish house, and some of those big flashy 1/4 ounce Quiver Spoons that Dustin Monson loves for tricking those monster walleyes and pike!

This morning, I started studying the lay of the land, or in this case, ice. It didn’t take long to realize that a map showing the more popular ice accesses will come in handy, so I stated work on that already. I’ll share it with everybody, but it’s a work in progress and will take a day or two to complete. Watch for that as details unfold." fish smiley image — Jeff Sundin 218-245-9858 or EMAIL

image links to Lake of the Woods, LOW Tourism January 4, 2021

image of lady holding big walleye she caught ice fishing on Lake of the Woods "Ice fishing is in full swing, and a great week it was on the south end of Lake of the Woods!

As the ice thickens, some resorts and outfitters are using bombardiers to transport customers to an from rental shelters. There are others providing plowed roads and are currently allowing one ton trucks on their network of roads. Check with ice road operators for specifics as ice conditions vary. Stay on marked ice roads, trails, etc.

Fishing reports for walleyes and saugers are good. Ice anglers are still catching numbers of walleyes and saugers, sorting through smaller fish to find keepers. Slot and trophy walleyes in the mix along with eelpout, jumbo perch, pike, tullibee, and sturgeon.

Good action in 25 to 28 feet of water. Jig one line. Vibration and rattles on some days, other days no rattles. Even if the fish aren't hitting noisier presentations, it still helps others in the fish house to attract them. Deadstick your second line. Gold, glow, pink, glow red, glow green are all effective colors. Often, a plain glow hook, colored hook or an ice jig tipped with a live minnow 6 inches to 1 foot off the bottom is the ticket.

For those who are portable, the morning or evening walleyes are being caught 10 to 15feet of water along shore and can be a fun way to start or end the day. Must be set up early and stay till just after dark ideally.

The Rainy River is ice covered and where there is good ice, anglers are still finding walleyes primarily morning and evening. Gold and glow with one jigging line and one deadstick working well.

Sturgeon bite continues for anglers wanting to catch a dinosaur through the ice. A few frozen shiners and even crawlers if you can get them on a hook with a 3/4 ounce egg sinker or on a spoon fished on or near the bottom is the go-to.

With the current of the river, knowing where and where not to travel and working through resorts and outfitters who know ice conditions is key. The snowmobile trail is marked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point up to the Angle.

The walleye fishing remains strong at the Northwest Angle with saugers, jumbo perch, and nothern pike being caught as well. Fresh fish frys are the norm!

A nice morning and evening bite in 15 to 18 feet off the shorelines, island points and adjacent to underwater structure. More of a daytime bite on deeper structure and mud.

Again, the one two punch, jigging and deadstick. Glow and bright colors have been effective much like the south shore. Glow minnow baits like a jigging rap tipped with a minnow head on the middle treble hook effective.

Travel to the Angle without crossing the border. The snowmobile trails along both the west and east sides of the lake are full of snow, groomed and staked for travel up to Angle resorts. The ice runway for Lake Country Air is open and flights from South St. Paul, Baudette, Warroad and other adjacent cities available. Round trip bombardier service across the lake to your favorite resort via Lake of the Woods Passenger Service is another good option.

Driving via land to and from the Angle through Canada is open. Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test less than 72 hours from when the test was taken. Get tests before you travel up or rapid tests are available in Baudette and in Warroad. Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada."  Lake of the Woods Tourism, (800) 382-FISH

image links to Lake of the Woods, Border View Lodge January 4, 2021

"Fishing action remains strong! Many fish are being caught from the bottom of the lake, electronics like Vexilar are still a great tool to have and are improving the catch rates. We continue to see many large fish, Walleye, Perch, Sturgeon, Burbot and Northern.

Typical Lake of the Woods colors are doing well. With so many new options and UV choices it is hard to not find a good bright shiny new lure to try. The ice is now over the 18” mark with much of it into the 20” of thickness.

This week’s forecast is showing some up and downs. Mostly below zero, but some days above with some possible snow on Tuesday and then back to -20. FISH ON!" 1-800-776-3474 Border View Lodge

image reader comments Reader Comments January 3, 2022 "Lake Winnie Field Updates"

"The New Years Weekend was a big one on Lake Winnie. Access roads around the lake opened up for vehicle traffic and the lake began filling up with eager ice anglers. Here are some updates about Lake Winnie Ice Accesses and travel conditions along with a few fishing updates as of January 2, 2022.

The accompanying map with numbered descriptions identifies the access points around the lake and provides the most up do date information available at the time. Please note the dates for each of the individual access point and ..." Read >> Lake Winnie Ice Conditions and Fishing Updates January 2, 2022